Evolution from Interconnect to Partner Management

Evolution from Interconnect to Partner Management

Partnerships play a critical role in the continued business success of service providers. And enhancing partner profitability is critical to retaining the right partnerships. Low partner profitability due to lack of settlement processes and systems may lead to loss in valuable partners, affecting service levels, revenues and margins.

Earlier, Voice revenues used to be the bread and butter for every Telco, but with the emergence of Internet and OTT services have impacted revenues drastically. Gone are the days when operators entered into interconnect partnerships only with other telecom operators to share and leverage on each other’s network, mostly for Voice traffic and Messaging revenues. The proliferation of smart devices and high speed internet has completely revolutionized the entire telecom ecosystem. A sudden rise in the plethora of partner enabled has led to a greater divergence between partner management and interconnection systems.

Below are few examples of different types of Partners:

Telco – Interconnect, Roaming, SMS: Vodafone, Airtel, Uninor
OTT: Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype
Gateway / Portals: ENETS, PayPal, Pay Mate
MVNO / E: Virgin Mobile ROK Mobile, Lyca Mobile
Content Providers: On Mobile, Com Viva, IMI Mobile
ISP / MSO: Tikona, You, Sify
Channel Provider: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Dish Tv
Cloud: Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Cloud Services, Salesforce
Leased Line & Fibre Wholesale Partner: Railtel, British Telecom, Virgin Media
Digital Partner – IOT: Xlvely, Ayla, thingworx

The numbers of interconnect partners have relatively increased, but the nature of partnerships has been relatively the same, which does not stand true for partner settlement where new types of partnerships are budding up pretty quickly.

Below are some key difference between partner management and interconnection systems

Interconnection and settlements Partner management and settlements
Mostly includes systems that record the volume and value of traffic. Primarily related to rating for voice, data and messaging. Includes systems that enable third-party providers to offer their services to CSP customers, and enable CSPs to charge for the service.
Traditional and widely deployed. Almost all mobile operators have some form of interconnection and settlement system in use. Comparatively new and mostly driven by demand for partner-enabled digital economy services.
The revenue model is typically based on volume of transactions. The revenue model is mostly revenue sharing and, in some cases, is tied to product licensing
Settlements are mostly related to inter CSP connectivity. Support complex third-party settlements, subscription billing etc.

Source: Analysys Mason

The telecom wholesale market is expanding aggressively, competition is fierce, margins have dwindled, billions oftransaction / events take place which has to be rated and charged, and multi-party agreements have become complex leading to decrease in the quality of service rendered. There is a need for a Partner Settlement system that overcomes all CSP challenges for superior partner relations.

This is where Sterlite Tech fits in, it offers an end-to-end, automated partner management system that not only bills and rates accurately, but also handles entire partner lifecycle requirements, from recruitment to settlement, helps form quick partnership agreements and reduces time to market with rapid introduction of new-generation content and superior reach through a partner network. It offers wholesale business information bifurcated into voice and content; thereby helping operators to make informed decisions.

Sterlite Tech Partner Management helps in effectively managing content, channel, interconnect and roaming partnerships to handle data, voice and video services over IP, fixed and mobile networks. With efficient management of upstream partnerships with content providers, aggregators, ASPs, downstream partnerships with MVNOs, VSPs, channel partners and roaming, interconnect arrangements for transit, inbound and outbound traffic. It supports profit- maximized partnerships; helps attract and retain partners through effective management, while preventing revenue leakage through meticulous settlement procedures.

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